Trust is something that doesn't come easily to a lot of people. Then there are those people who are incredibly trusting. They'll take whatever you tell them at face value. These are exactly the type of people who get targeted by con men. Con men being people who run cons for a living.
Cons can be incredibly interesting, which is why you see a lot of movies and TV that explore the idea of a con man. They make for exciting twists and turns in fiction entertainment. If you've been the victim of a con, however, then you're the last person who thinks that cons are anything but absolute evil.
Cons always target a certain type of person to be successful. They usually require a victim who desperately needs something, whether that's the company of someone, or an answer to one of their problems in life. The con man in this story targeted farmers who desperately needed for it to rain.
Con men prey on people who are gullible and ignorant. Seeing as there isn't a shortage of people like that, there will always be conmen. One tactic is to present yourself like an expert, using pseudo-jargon and science that sounds good at face value. Australian officials have recently come across a con that is exactly like that. A man began conning farmers in Melbourne saying he was a rain salesmen. It was an easy con considering the area is in a horrible drought.
David Miles is the con man in question. His company is called Miles Research. His promise to these desperate farmers was that he could provide "weather modification service" for $50,000. "Weather modification services" is not a real thing whatsoever. Frank Chung of NewsCorpAustralia was the one who broke the heartbreaking story.
David Miles actually has a pretty brilliant and fail safe plan. His deal with his victims is that they only have to pay if it actually rains. Once it rains, he gets the money, but there's nothing saying that he's the reason why its raining. He is able to avoid breaking any laws by not taking their money if it doesn't rain. It's a plan that only benefits Miles no matter what happens - well, as long as it rains.
David Miles has been at this since 2006. He had a company named Aquiess which was called a cruel hoax by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for preying on desperate farmers who would do anything to escape the horrible drought. Miles isn't able to provide any evidence that his technology actually works. His website says it works with "current meteorological modelling, of near-future atmospheric behaviour (produced by Bureau supercomputing), in order to ascertain the vulnerable sensitive dependencies of converging events."
David Miles' website is full of nonsense like the text above. The text means absolutely nothing. It's meant to confuse those who don't know any better. In one part of the website, Miles claims he uses electromagnetic scalar waves which aren't a real thing at all. According to Miles, the term makes no sense because he had to describe it without giving away his technology. "There is information that's a little bit obscure because that's a way of firewalling the core intellectual property, so that it can't be weaponised and used to harm nations. So I think I'd probably side with [physics professor Martin Sevior] that it doesn't make sense and I think part of the problem has been navigating the safety of how we take this forward."
Miles is adamant that he's not conning anyone. He even wants 70 million to build a factory to show off his technology, which sounds like just another con.